NEW DELHI: The Supreme court on Monday noted that Future Retail Limited and Amazon LLC Holding have agreed to the arbitration proceedings at Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). The top court was hearing Amazon's application seeking directions to restrain Future Retail from alienating its retail assets till the arbitration proceedings between the US-based E-commerce giant and the Kishore Biyani-owned group at Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) are completed.
"Both the parties have agreed to appear before SIAC. We request that the tribunal expedite the proceeding. Parties to file a joint memo by Tuesday. Intervention application by Bank of India permitted to be withdrawn without prejudice to rights," a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said.
The apex court said it will protect the interest of both the parties and asked them to come back the next day after the hearing at Delhi High court on Tuesday.
During the course of the arguments, the court expressed anguish at how many pleas and replies were being filed by both parties.
"Don't take advantage of this proceeding and address all your problems. It is a serious issue, you file 30 pages and then he will…please do not burden us by thrusting heaps of papers on us. The relief sought by amazon is pending before HC and the matter is going on before the tribunal. if you file hundreds of documents then we may give some finding on an issue which can hamper either your case," CJI said.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanyam appearing for Amazon argued that Future Retail’s submission that they did not have money was false. "They ever showed that they are short of money to pay the landlords. even on February 15, they paid 15 million dollars to bondholders. Preserve these assets and they should remain with FRL. There should be an order passed protecting our interests," he said.
Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi appearing for the lending banks said that the Bank of India wants to withdraw their intervention application since they are pursuing other appropriate remedies.
FRL on Friday had told the court that it is barely hanging by a thread and said that Amazon has destroyed them.
“Our bank accounts are frozen and I can’t even pay rent. Due to the second wave of covid infection and other associated issues, the retail sector has taken a solid knock. Amazon wanted to destroy us, they have destroyed us. If reliance doesn’t extend our scheme after three months then what will we do? We are on oxygen now. We have only 374 stores and over 800 have shut down due to non-payment of rent. ”- Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for Future retail had said on Friday.
Amazon and Future group are engaged in litigation at multiple legal portals on the issue of FRL's merger deal to the tune of Rs 24713 crore with Reliance Retail Limited (RIL).The SIAC in 2020 restrained Future from selling its assets to RIL.